The summer after graduating high school, a friend, who had never caught my eye before, caught my eye. He was someone I had always trusted. Someone I had always admired for the way he lived out his faith and values. He had a contagious smile and a presence that made me feel safe. We had been friends for a while, but it wasn’t until a church trip to Israel that God lit the spark. He dramatically opened my eyes to Jacob on the first couple days of the trip and by the end, we landed in Minnesota, gave each other a nervous hug, and said “well we’ll definitely talk soon!” I slept for about 14 hours (jet lag), woke up, and we went on our first date. It was a whirlwind. But it was the most peaceful whirlwind I had ever experienced.
After Jacob and I had been dating for a month (only a month!) he applied to the same gap-year program I did, a Torchbearer’s Bible School called Timberline Lodge in Fraser, Colorado. The class was already full for the year, but he applied “just for fun,” to see if he happened to get in. He was still experiencing the effects of a traumatic brain injury and was planning on working for a while instead of starting college. I vividly remember the night Jacob got the call from Dan (the Bible School Principle who later officiated our wedding), and I sat there shocked. A Canadian student couldn’t get across the border and there was an extra spot. So, Jacob followed me to Colorado. I didn’t think I would actually have to deal with my pride, but I did. I selfishly wanted this Colorado adventure to be all my own. I also didn’t want to be known as “the girl who let her high school boyfriend follow her to college.” But I quickly learned (and I am still learning!) that God’s plans are SO much more beautiful than anything I have in mind.
So, there we were. We had only dated a month and we were in a new home of three old lodge buildings, with 38 other students, for nine months. Let’s just say the transition of having my new boyfriend on my new adventure took my stubborn-self a long time to adjust to. Jacob thought I was going to break up with him multiple times – even though it never crossed my mind. Throughout our year at Timberline, God was challenging both of us, as individuals and as a couple, to take the Christian life seriously. We had incredible mentors and teachers that taught us how to dig deeper into the Bible and apply it to life. That experience was extremely foundational for our dating relationship and now marriage. All of that learning, at pretty much the same pace, grew us closer together at a fast rate – a rate I now know was God’s pace – we were getting married sooner than we knew!
The next year, we attended Colorado Christian University, and in January, Jacob proposed. I had known I would marry him for a few months by then, and he had been sure even longer than that. I had to deal with pride yet again, being labeled as “the Freshmen engaged girl” and not understanding why God wanted me to get married so young. It took a lot of prayer and a whole lot of trust to let God take over my “perfect” timeline (getting married after college). Now we’ve been married for just over one and a half years, and I know being a wife is clearly where God wanted me to be at 20 years old. Even though it has not always been easy and romantic, God has continued to give me peace where he has me.
I tell our story not to brag about the story itself, but to highlight God’s leading and provision that was so eminent to us. Years of prayers answered, pride broken down, and dreams re-aligned with God’s, capture the essence of my journey to becoming a wife. Now, I hope to share, humbly and authentically, the rest of my learning experiences to encourage anyone reading – whether single, engaged, or married.